On the first day the Texas health department changed the way it counts COVID-19 deaths, it reported a 12 percent increase, according to The Texas Tribune.
Four things to know:
1. The Texas Department of State Health Services previously relied on local and regional health departments to verify COVID-19 death reports, but it now counts all deaths marked with COVID-19 as the cause of death on the death certificate.
2. The change comes months after health officials in the state warned that the death toll was underreported. The number of COVID-19-related deaths increased by more than 600 on July 27 after the methodology changed.
3. Texas’ updated reporting methodology will not count individuals who test positive for COVID-19 but die of an unrelated cause, according to the report.
4. The methodology change could improve the timeliness and accuracy of the data, according to Texas health officials, as death certificates must be filed within 10 days of death.
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